Romans 4:4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
Every sinner since Adam and Eve has a sin debt. We are indeed all sinners with a debt which must be paid. It doesn’t matter if you believe your debt is smaller than another, just the accumulation of a single debt puts you in judgment against a Holy Almighty God.
So how can that accumulated debt be removed and the sinner then enter God’s eternal Kingdom? There is just one way, through Jesus Christ. Those who place their faith alone in Him have their entire sin debt removed! What better news could you ever hear??
The problem comes in with world religions as instead of the pointing to Jesus Christ to remove the debt, they remove Him from equation. The only ONE who can remove the debt, they cast aside for their own works. And then say “I shall remove my own debt”. They use Jesus as merely an example, not as a Redeemer or as the Messiah.
Legalists will also try to pay the debt by being subjectively “good” to the law. However, it is impossible to be this “good” as again, just one indiscretion lands you into judgment. Adam and Eve’s simple disobedience for example was enough for the entire to world to fall and a Redeemer needed. God didn’t say “I shall ignore My holiness and justice, and give you a second chance here”.
In Romans 4, Paul makes it clear that if you are adding your own subjective works in trying to win your judgment before God, that is ALSO counted as DEBT! In other words this is just MORE sin added to your accumulated debt total.
What is this debt like? It is like a credit card with a high balance which accumulates upon each sin with NO WAY to pay it back. By the works to salvation analogy, let’s say you send a check in for the minimum amount due, and the credit card company rejecting it, but you continue to send them checks, and with each check they ADD the amount to your debt. Yet, you continue to do so because you believe this is right or that everyone in your circle is doing the same thing. Each month, your statement comes, the balance increases even though you believe you are paying the debt.
Yes, that is how it works with God! Those who reject Jesus Christ and His work in place of their own, are ADDING debt to their sins. And many world religions such as Roman Catholicism but many others as well teach the sinner to in effect ADD to their sin debt, reject the Redeemer who paid all debt, and use your own means to attempt to pay it off.
A Christian is easy to discern by this. Are you attempting to pay off your debt, or do you have FAITH that Jesus Christ paid your entire sin debt off? By the latter, you would be deemed a saved Christian. By the former you are unsaved and stand in judgment before God and will have to try to convince God on Judgment Day that He should bypass His holiness and justice for you.
Friend, the answer is simple! The Good News is that Jesus PAID your sin debt! And it will be only by God’s regenerating hand that you will come to believe this. If you reject this Good News, it is safe to say at this point in time God is not drawing you. If you do believe He paid your sin debt and the church you belong to tells you “not so”, LEAVE that church today! Repent of your “works” and place your faith alone in the Redeemer, Jesus Christ!